Can you visualize a machine that can laugh and cry, learn and dream, and can voice its inner responses to how it perceives you to feel?
If you can’t visualize, you should see BabyX…
Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute Laboratory for Animate Technologies is setting up ‘live’ computational models of the face and brain by combining Bioengineering, Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Computer Graphics Research.
Baby X is a a virtual animated baby that learns and reacts like a human baby. It is an experimental computer generated psychobiological simulation of an infant which learns and interacts in real time. Artificial intelligence algorithms are used for BabyX’s “learning” and interpretation of the voice and image to understand the situation. So Baby X can express itself in a natural manner, can learn to read, recognize objects and understand.
Mark Sagar as part of the team at director Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital was behind the computer generated faces in films such as King Kong and Avatar. He says that “Baby X is an exploration of emotional interaction through an interactive avatar.”
BabyX integrates realistic facial simulation with computational neuroscience models of neural systems involved in interactive behaviour and learning. Mark Sagar and his team are mapping the neural circuitry beneath the wrinkled nose, the puckered mouth, the narrowed eyes, and thousands of other facial signals to make computers look and act more like human beings.